Tetra Tech’s Jamie Brescol Wins Company’s 2019 Technical Achievement Award for Integrated Planning and Optimization Software
Tetra Tech believes in the loyalty, effort, and excellence of its employees and initiated its annual Excellence and Achievement Awards program to recognize individuals and teams for achievements that demonstrate best-in-class performance and service to the community.
Managers of sewerage systems impacted by wet weather spend billions of dollars on improvements to meet regulatory requirements, improve the level of service to customers, and reduce the risk of flood damages. To make good decisions and reduce cost of controls, Jamie Brescol developed the Integrated Planning and Optimization Program (iPOP) to address these issues using the computational benefits of cloud computing and optimization routines. iPOP performs functions that directly compete with commercial software and has two primary capabilities: model calibration and alternative selection for capital planning efforts.
Accurate model calibrations are critical for regulatory acceptance and proper sizing of new infrastructure. iPOP performs many thousands of model runs, comparing model results to flow metering data, and tracking the model’s ability to predict measured flows. It allows the user to perform many calibration runs to identify those parameters that best fit the observed data. Constraints are placed on each calibration parameter to ensure the parameters stay within a reasonable range based site-specific conditions and engineering judgment. Calibration and validation metrics can be customized among a many industry accepted approaches to meet the owner’s standards and the local collection system. iPOP allows the engineer to calibrate to peak rates, volumes, and peak levels. In addition, Tetra Tech has been using iPOP with the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati to develop a new approach and metric for model calibration. This new sub-event zone analysis approach has shown to be more consistent and accurate than industry standard approaches.
Our customers need to make decisions based on strategic and optimized solutions to comply with regulatory and asset management requirements. Optimized solutions reduce the financial burden of these programs. iPOP was developed to perform, evaluate, and optimize the universe of control alternatives available. iPOP works directly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Stormwater Management Model and is capable of automatically simulating thousands of model scenarios and evaluating system performance, capital and operation and maintenance costs, and optimization objectives to identify the optimum solution. This GIS-based tool supports the engineer-driven alternatives identification process by carrying the load of iterating the wide-range of sizing of alternatives, providing detailed analysis of model results, and tracking of costs and benefits to help the engineer select the optimum solution. iPOP evaluates and optimizes alternatives including any combination of source control, increased conveyance (gravity and pumping), storage (tunnel and basin), high-rate treatment, weir/orifice modifications, and real-time controls.
Optimization software in the wet weather market is dominated by a commercial program that is sold directly to end clients for up to $150,000 per year. iPOP provides a similar level of analysis without the software expense and competitive pricing in cost-conscious markets. The automated calibration provides improved results with more automation, reducing staff time. Additionally, the software has provided the following Tetra Tech competitive benefits:
- Technical industry recognition and repeat work
- Improved cost competitiveness
- Differentiation to challenge incumbents
“I am honored and truly thankful to have been selected for this award,” said Jamie. “It’s very humbling given the caliber of the nominees from across Tetra Tech. We strive to bring new ideas and approaches to our projects, and to provide high-quality and innovative deliverables. iPOP will help us to deliver a unique service and improved products to our clients.”
Jamie has worked with our Quebec-based water infrastructure group to integrate iPOP with Tetra Tech’s Csoft® platform. By building a bridge to link iPOP with Csoft, we are working towards optimizing alternatives that also reflect the benefits of Tetra Tech’s real-time control capabilities.
Congratulations to Jamie Brescol and his team for developing an innovative software that not only improves the quality of deliverables but also provides an alternative, more affordable solution for our clients.